At the Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting today the County Commissioners approved a plan to provide funding for a new soccer stadium in Downtown Orlando and provide additional funding for the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.
Commissioners Ted Edwards and Fred Brummer voted against after six hours of public comment and discussion.
This was the final vote needed to approve the funding. At this point it will be up to final negotiations with Orlando City Soccer and Major League Soccer to bring an MLS team to Orlando.
MLS President has stated the an MLS team in Orlando would follow approval of a soccer specific stadium. Telling the Orlando Sentinel, “Once we finalize that, we will have a Major League Soccer team here. A franchise could be awarded as early as November. The Lions would begin play in MLS in Spring 2015.
The County Commissioners also secured additional funding for youth supports and youth soccer fields.
“We are ecstatic about the positive vote,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins in a written statement. “Our fans have been the driving force behind the effort to bring MLS to Orlando. This one is for them.”
The $94.5 million plan allows for Tourism Development Tax revenues to be spent on various venues and tourism marketing including $20 million to help fund the soccer stadium and $25 million towards the second phase of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.
The stadium will be located north of Church St, south of Central Blvd., east of Parramore Ave., and west of Terry Ave. [GMap].
The funding for the second phase of DPAC would be available once the remaining donations for the second phase are pledged and secured.
In addition to $20 million to fund the soccer stadium and the $25 million towards DPAC, the $94.5 million plan includes:
- $25 million to Visit Orlando over five-years
- $12 million to the Citrus Bowl for renovations
- $10 million in convention-center improvements
- $2.5 million Central Florida Sports Commission via Visit Orlando for marketing sports events
Photo courtesy Orlando City Soccer